Thursday, 21 November 2013

'Wiggling' like the happy little runner that I am.

Yesterday, I was feeling down in the dumps. Call it exam stress, grieving, who knows.

But then. my wiggle package arrived!

Is there anything more motivating to a runner than new gear? Woo!

So here's  run down of what I purchased and a review of how I have found it so far. Please excuse the endless selfies. My photographer was away!

1. Waterbottle and handheld carrier/strap

I really thought having a water bottle hanging off me would be really annoying. But, it as surprisingly great. It's very comfortably padded and also a small zip pocked which can hold a gel or two. The strap is adjustable so there is no hand cramping trying to hold onto the bottle as you ran. This was only $10 (bottle and holder!)

2. High 5 'Race Nutrition Pack'.

As I haven't really 'raced' seriously as yet, I haven't gotten too serious about gels and chews etc. I usually take homemade chia muesli bars to munch along the way. I have used gummi bears and jelly beans and they have made my stomach hurt. I thought it would be a good idea to try out some gels just in case I ever need to use them in a race, which I probably will. This pack was only $13 and has over 10 gels and over 15 electrolyte powders for mixing up for drinks (the large white water bottle was also included). So one of these gels (raspberry and caffeine) and a chocolate orange energy bar are packed for a trial on tomorrows long run.

3. Capris, t-shirt and cap.

These capris are probably the most comfortable I have EVER worn. They are "Ronhill Ladies Aspiration" capris and were $34. They have a wide waistband so no digging in or discomfort. Stretchy, soft and moisture wicking material makes for a very smooth ride!

The shirt was new Balance Momentum shirt in coral. Super light, flowy and comfortable.

The cap is Orca and has a really think hairband that soaks up sweat like anything and is really comfy. Performs very well is the hot sun!

4. This is the "Nike Ladies Element Shield" jacket. And yes, I know it's nearly summer. But at 40% off it's original price, I felt like it would be a good investment. Obviously I haven't tried this one out yet but so far it feels good.

I also got a back Shock Absorber Max Support Bra. No pictures of that one for you, sorry!

So there you have it! I'm a happy little runner kitted out in my awesome gear. Money so well spent, in my opinion.

Tomorrow I have a long run (15km) and a funeral to go to. Thank god for running it definitely keeps me from needing therapy, lol!

Enjoy your friday tomorrow everyone and the weekend that follows!


Sunday, 10 November 2013

What A Juggling Act

Hi to any new readers!

So some background information for those of you who don't know too much about me...

I'm studying a double degree in psychology and criminology and am about to complete my third year. My first exam is tomorrow.

I work as a 'nanny' for a little girl 2 or 3 mornings a week. I have to leave my house before 6am to get there and then I drive her to school for 8.30am.

I also work as a supervisor and cash officer for a supermarket.

The starts of my weeks are usually the most hectic.

Monday mornings I have my nannying job (I usually try to sneak in 5-8kms before or after)

Tuesdays: Nannying job 6am-9am; Supermarket job 4:30pm until 9:30pm

Wednesday: Nannying job in morning. (Usually after this is when I get to relax a little for the week but this week I said yes to babysitting for the same family this night).

Sigh. I know it's not that much work for those of you who work full time, but considering I exercise more than 15 hours a week usually, that in itself is a part time job ontop of my two other part time jobs - and 6 hours of study a day is also meant to be a part time job - some days I'm awake for 18-20 hours!

It's exhausting. Usually around exam time I would take time of work and drop the nannying too. Unfortunately this time I cannot turn down the money, we just can't afford it. We need every cent possible.

My point is - it's a juggling act but my favourite and priority ball is my running - because it shows me that with persistence, I can do things that are hard, that are tiring, that I never thought I could do. It shows me that I'm strong, to keep going when I'm tired, to be brave.

It's my stress outlet which is great because some days I have lots of stress!!!

Today is my last rest day after my half marathon. Will do some puppy walking, swimming and stretching. Tomorrow will be a short run before nannying and my exam.

Well it turns out I dont have to nanny this morning - so I'm off for an early morning walk with the puppy and then I'll hit the books.

Have a great monday everyone!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Half Marathon Complete! :)


So I've been super busy working and studying for exams so I haven't had a chance to update my blog for two weeks!

Yesterday I did a mock half marathon, as there are no events in my area this time of year (which is unfortuate because I think the race atmosphere would have really given me a boost!).

So the 21kms came and went in 2:28:48 and alot of pain!

This run had followed a week consisting of a taper week of a 5km run, lots of bike riding and walking.

Run Review.
I hydrated brilliantly the day and night before, drinking lots of water. Carbloading was done via roast sweet potato and pumpkin pizza with pesto the night before.

I ran without my fuel belt as I haven't had a chance to test it yet, and I also knew my route had water fountains along the way. For fuel I took a couple of small pieces of strawberry and coconut slice with me.

So 4.15am friday morning came and I jumped out of bed, had a glass of water and got ready. Was running by 5am. It's been pretty hot weather lately and I knew it was important to finish my run before the sun was too hot.

How I handle these long runs is I break it up in stages. I have to. I cannot start out and think "You've got 21kms of running to go", and then count down. Hell no!

So I go - only 5kms until you're halfway to the turn around! I try to break them up into two different runs, one out, one back. I know that must sound silly, but running is a head game and if anything helps, I say do it!

The run went well. My goal was 2:30 so around the 7km mark I pushed a little harder to make up for my slow start to make sure I hit my 10.5km in atleast 1:15, knowing that I wouldn't have it in me to pull sub 6:30 kms at the end of the run - I wanted to do a little of the hard work early on and then be able to enjoy a slightly slower pace.

Around 17kms in I started HURTING. I wonder - do ultrarunners get to the point where their bodies are so conditioned that they don't experience pain after 50, 60, 100kms? I don't know much about it but my gut tells me no. I'm sure they feel pain and just have to push through it. So that's what I tried to do as well. My hips, knees, feet, ahhh they were aching. Luckily I had my phone and headphones with me, so at 19km my earphones went in and one of my favourite bands "Of Mountains and Men" sang me along to the 'finish line'. My partner Kadin and my puppy were waiting 500m away from it, so they ran with me until the end. Kadin kept looking over at me, probably a little bit concerned at the look of determination and focus on my face - there were no smiles until I was finished!

Boy oh boy did I feel sore but very happy to have finished my first half marathon distance in less than 2:30. I kept an average of 7:04/km. This means that maybe, just maybe, one day I could finish a marathon in 4 hours. Who knows.

After my run I made some wholegrain pancakes and had one with some peanut butter, strawberries and maple syrup. Lunch was a spinach, mushroom and sweet potato wrap with a raw kale, beetroot and carrot salad topped with pinenuts. Dinner, another veggie pizza. And a froyo, to keep with post-long-run-tradition.

This past week I have tried to eat as little meat as possible, and I surprised myself by going 7 whole days with no meat! I'm so happy with this, it's good for the budget, body and environment so I am going to keep going with this as much as I can. Tonight however we are having free range roast pork as a celebration of Kadin handing in his thesis (it's his favourite meal) and he begged me to partake. So I will have a small amount of pork and then fill the rest of my plate with the rainbow that is in my crisper and vegetable garden!

I have been researching marathon training plans. It's tricky because I know I will have a fairly good base and wont need to be starting with my long runs much shorter than what I'm doing now. After much debate I think I am happy with this one

I would probably start from week 5, with the long run being 10 miles. In the plan it then has a mini taper/rest and then a race and shorted following run - however I doubt there will be many races around in January so I will probably commence at week 5, then do week 7 and week 9. That leaves me with 12 weeks of training. 

Special things I want to include in this plan are some speed and hill work as these are my weakness. - The first run of the week will be easy pace of set distance
- The second run of the week will be speed/tempo of set distance
- The third run of the week will be medium pace and then a few hills included of set distance
- The fourth run of the week will be the long, slow run of set distance.

Counting backwards from the first marathon I am aiming to do on the 13th of April next years, means I will need to start training on the 20th of January.

Now that I've done my 'half' I am aiming to maintain my current level of fitness and keep my long runs to around 15kms, once a week.

Looking at this plan makes me nervous, especially the 10 mile and 20 mile run within three days of each other.... ohhhh it's going to hurt! I'm sure once I get there I'll be ready! ;)

Another important thing I want to focus on in this plan is cross training. I want core strength and muscles, they're so important for runners! And swimming is my favourite post run workout.

Ok so I think that's everything for this week. I'm off the enjoy dinner and some planks and pushups!


Monday, 28 October 2013

No Half Measures Here!


How was everyone's weekend?

Mine was great, great, great. I had a few days away in a little beach town, doing yoga, meditation, eating and running. Can you say perfection?

My training run that I didn't do on Friday was done on saturday along with 5 other kms!

My runs for this week

Monday: 7kms
Tuesday: 5kms
Wednesday: 6kms
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 2kms
Saturday: 15km
Sunday: 2.5kms

Total: 37.5kms

Cross training: 6 hours of walking; 2.5 of swimming; 1 hour of yoga.

This week so far has consisted of 8 very slow, painful and hot kms yesterday at about 10am (after my morning job) and 5 very early and joyous easy kms with my puppy this morning, before my morning job. It's supposed to get to 31 degrees by 3pm so I knew it would be too hot to run him then before my night job.

I've decided, that I'm going to do some full marathons next year too, not just a half. If I'm doing half, I may as well do the full right?! I know it will be painful but I think it will be awesome too.

Here are some events I am hoping to do

- 8th Feb 2014: Bussleton Half Marathon

- 13th April Bunbury Full or Half Marathon

- 6th July Geraldton Marathon

- 26th October Rottnest Island Marathon

Also the Perth City to Surf Marathon whatever date that will be.
And there is a Perth trail running series that I would like to do a few races of, from January to March they are :)

So there are atleast 2 Marathons I will do: the geraldton one (my hometown) and city to surf - the anniversary of my first race ever!

Very excited for the future - but for now, focusing on training and studying for my exams coming up!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Knowing when to rest.

Hi everyone,

Today, my running plan called for a '10k race'. However, there were no races around here on a friday morning... funny that.

I've been feeling a little sniffly and then I woke up with my heels aching. Then I slept through my alarm. Bah! Sometimes things just don't work out. I iced my heels until they felt better, did some stretches and then went for a big walk with my boy and the pup. Sure, it wasn't an hour of sweating my bum off. But it was good for my soul.

Luckily, I ran monday, tuesday and wednesday, covering 18kms all up. This afternoon I'm going to a yoga retreat, and will be running atleast 5kms a day. So I will still be getting my kms in even if not in one hit. Kms are kms :)

Exams are coming up in a few weeks. So the rest of my day will be studying before heading off for my retreat. Can't wait to be running along the beach :)

My eating has been pretty good - am getting in heaps of vegies, complex carbs. And watermelon. ALL of the watermelon. <3

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Long Run Friday...

Hi to anyone reading,

This morning I was up at 4.30 for my long run - today was 15km - 3kms longer than I have ever run before!

I was really nervous/anxious/convinced I couldn't do it. But I did :)

Last night I went and bought a hydration belt. I was going to test it today but the zip on the pouch broke before I even got to put it on! Was pretty disappointed. So I had to just use to spi belt to stuff my chia bars into, held my puffer, phone & headphones in bum pocket for when the going got tough, and had to rely on water fountains along the way, at about 3.5kms, 5.5km, 7kms and then the same when I turn around at 7.5kms.

It wasn't amazing, but it was pretty good. I kept a pretty even pace, with negative splits in the second half. I managed to save my music for the 14km mark and it was an awesome pick me up for the end. My lovely man stayed up late last night putting the music on my phone :) I felt like I got into a bit of a meditative headspace for most of the run. My shins and knees started hurting towards the end so I tried to adjust my form, shorten my steps and increase my cadence a little. Had a cold bath to stick my legs into when I got home :)

Had a some gatorade and took to pup to the park for a play. Came home, had a homemade ice coffee and toast with pb and j, then showered and returned my stoopid belt and got a new one - lets hope this one lasts longer!

Then it was off to get froyo with one of my good friends, yum! Perfect bribe to get a long run done :)

Some views from this morning...

Lunch was a homemade coleslaw and a roast pumpkin, baby spinach and roasted brocolli hommus. Yummo

Dinner will be brown rice, vegetable and lentil dahl and steamed veg.

Will be going for a walk soon with pup

Have a good day everyone

Sunday, 13 October 2013


Monday, Bloody Monday.

After half an hour of mozeying around in bed after my 6am alarm, I just got up, did my feet stretches, and then got dressed for my 7km run. Came out to grab all my gadgets. Decided to run with my ipod for a change today.. Got my bum down to the foreshore by around 7am, a little too late for my liking considering today is going to be 24 degrees!

Km 1: Ooh, music, this is fun

Km 2: Need the bathroom. NOW.

Km 3: Stitch, ow

Km 4: Stitch, OWWW

Km 5: Stitch slowly leaving

Km 6: Nearly there. Feeling better. It's hot. Oh my god - I think I forgot something for my assignment. That I handed in last night. Stress stress stress

Km 7: Done THANK GOD

Garmin Stuff

 - Time: 46:0 (cringe)

 - 7.01km

 - Average pace 6:41/km

 - 441 cals

I have no idea why that was so hard. Lets blame it on Monday shall we?

Now it's time for breakfast (muesli, almond milk, coffee); shower, work on assignments, ice my heels, swim, and I will walk the pup later on this afternooon. Oh I'm also re-reading Born to Run.

For about the hundreth time.

I will update later tonight with todays food!

Happy running!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Famous 'Runner Bug' ~ I am not Immune.

Hi there!

Okay, so some history is always helpful to set the scene -

I'm 21 and live in Perth, WA.

I've never been particularly athletic, school would see me exercise, when I had to. The 1500m dash was torture, and cross country was hell.

Year 11 and 12 came and I stopped exercising full stop to focus on my studies. I wasn't sleeping, only eating (one massive meal) once a day, and using chocolate as a bribery device to get through textbook after textbook.

Gap year before university - this is where the weight came on. I went from 65-68 kilos (top end of healthy for my height) to 78 kilos in a year. Countless coffees and pastries where I worked 12 hour shifts. I was flat out busy and just didn't need to care about my health yet. I was shy but wasn't really specifically self-conscious about my weight, because no one had told me I was overweight yet!

Gap year finished, I moved to Perth from my little country town to live with my boyfriend of three years. Freedom! Not much money, but freedom. Our diet wasn't great, cheap noodles, sausages, mince, pasta, frozen veg. Shopping at Coles we could barely keep our weekly food bill down to less than $100.

Around August, my mum told me she was on WeightWatchers. I snootily said, "I don't believe it diets - only lifestyle changes".

Turns out, it was a lifestyle change. And, it changed my life.

For one whole year, nearly to the date, I counted points diligently. I slowly, painfully began exercising. Most of the time, I was mortified to even walk in public.

Around a year ago, I reaches my goal weight of 58 kilos! A loss of 20 kilos had seen me grow so much more confident and happy in my skin. I couldn't believe I hadn't known how amazing life can be when you're at your full potential.

I started running 5kms, walking for a couple of hundred metres after running the same. Slowly and slowly I managed to run a whole 5km without stopping! That feeling was unbeatable. I also learned during this time that running needed as much brain power as it did leg power! Those little voices in my head would constantly doubt me, telling me I was too slow, making me doubt the distance.

Eventually I gave up running as I felt like I was too slow, and putting too much pressure on myself. I kept up with gym classes and kept fairly fit.

In february this year I had to have my gallbladder removed. A month or two and I was back fighting fit, with a couple of kilos hanging around due to all the amazing food I was able to enjoy again.

4 weeks before the 2013 Perth City2Surf, my mum coherced me into joining. The 12km. Oh crap, I thought. I haven't run in ages! How am I going to do this?

I didn't follow a plan. There aren't any out there that show you how to go from 0 to 12kms in 4 weeks!

So, I did 2 shorter runs of 5-6kms per week, 1 4km speed session, and one 'long' run, a lap from the causeway bridge heading into the city, along riverside drive to kwinana freeway, and then back along the south perth foreshore to the causeway (thanks to my Garmin I know this was now only 9.3 km!). I did this for four weeks, going as slow as I needed to to complete the runs. I didn't have a watch, I had no idea how slow or fast I was going.

The main thing was I was going to do it, and I was going to finish it - while having fun!

And so we did!

Race day we headed into the city by train, along with nearly 50,000 other people.

I stuck with my mum and her friends, at a gentle pace, none of us needed to walk once.

Our finishing time was around 1:30:00 and I was so happy.

As I looked up at the clock, not even feeling tired, I thought to myself, I reckon I could have done the half!

Now, as I'm training for a half marathon distance (unfortunately there aren't many actual races on this time of the season) I secretly hoping that next year I will be finishing the full marathon!

So, in short, this is a blog about running. It wont be like some, with their watches showing a 50km run completed in 4 hours, blonde hair neat and make up on their face. That's great for them, but that just aint me.

I'm pretty slow - 10kms takes me just over an hour. Let's blame it on my short legs, shall we?
But, I'm determined. I keep going when it's tough and when it's not pretty or worthy of a blog post. I sweat, I swear, I grit my teeth, I want to scream when my garmin only shows 6 kms - and I'm not immune to the runners trots either.

This blog is about keeping it real, and keeping it awesome.

Please read along!